As with everything that is African so to do pots and vessels play their part in each and everyday life. Whether being used as simple cooking and eating bowls to the more elaborate vessels that are used for the powers of divination, inauguration, and welcoming pots each item has its significant place.
A varied array of materials are used to make pots and vessels these include wood, clay, terracotta, bronze, gourdes (a large fruit with a hard skin) and also raffia when it comes to baskets.
Gourdes being light are used for the purpose of water carrying can be very highly decorated.
Some of the more elaborate vessels include the carved wooden pots that are used for the purpose of Oracle Divination, Ceremonial Drinking Cups and Offering Pots.
From the everyday cooking and drinking pots and vessels to those use only by the more higher ranking tribal members they all have their special place in tribal day to day living.
A truly fascinating and exquisite Baule Diviners Oracle Pot "Gbekre-Se" from Sakassou Ivory Coast. This pot is beautifully styled, depicting two small mask representations on either side of chamber an elevated figure to the rear.
On becoming initiated into the secrets of the profession, the diviner is provided with his own mouse oracle (gbekre) and may establish an independent practice. The person who is consulting the oracle places a forefinger on the container's upper rim, invokes the gbekre, and asks it the questions he or she would like answered.
Hogon are the high priests of the cult of Lebe, the first Dogon ancestor to die, whose body was miraculously transformed into a snake after his death.
This prestigious pot is used for the purpose of weddings and no other!! On the day of a marriage ceremony the pot will be taken from the Hogon's hut of where the ceremonial pieces are kept, unwrapped from the cloth it it is kept in and taken into the village opening where the ceremony will take place.
Such works have been described as "aduno koro," an "ark of the world," meant to represent the mythic ark sent by Amma to reorganize and populate the world. The "aduno koro" displays a wealth of imagery relating to the Dogon account of genesis.
An exquisite and huge Dogon village healing pot collected from a village near Mopti. This pot with the warrior on the lid is the village healing pot and is to treat the villagers who became sick with herbal medicines which were made within the pot and then given to the patient whilst calling upon the ancestors to help.
An unusual Dogon ceremonial mortar, not a usual millet mortar but more for ceremonial use by the Hogon for when blessing pieces, in doing this it consists of throwing wet millet on figures which are kept / being stored in his hut under his guard in a small room which only he is allowed
A lovely styled Turkana container which would have been used for storing and carrying liquids and the likes of honey. This is made from an animal skin and has a wooden stopper
This is a nicely styled Turkana milking jug from the Turkana tribe of Kenya. This type of African artefact is not one of a ritual nature but an item that would be of everyday use
This is a very old and large Turkana pot, possibly used for crushing millet or mixing food for a family meal.
A nice old Asante Kuduo bronze pot, this has been repaired a few times so must have been loved by its original owner to do so.
The lidded waterproof container is made from vegetable fibres and supported with leather straps.
Western Zambia food bowls called a Mukeke 'or Mukeka' these were / are made to keep food warm.
This old Benin brass snuff bottle / holder is very beautiful and intricately designed.
This lovely brass snuff holder in the shape of a horn, it has a loop cast on it to possibly be carried around the neck on a string or leather band.